Barrington Coleman, conductor
Hosted by University of Illinois Fine and Applied Arts and presented by the School of Music, the New Awakenings series of artistic presentations was inspired through the interest of Barrington Coleman, Associate Professor of Vocal Jazz Studies, to acknowledge and address the journey of social justice in America, civil and human rights issues of today, and a reimagined framework of universal brotherhood.
Emmy award-winning composer Joel Thompson is a pianist, conductor, and educator from Atlanta. His Seven Last Words of the Unarmed is an intensely personal response to the victims of violent social injustice—namely, the police killings of Black men—featuring the combined participation of the Varsity Men’s Glee Club, the men of the UI Black Chorus and the UI Chamber Singers, along with the Jupiter String Quartet and Casey Robards, piano.
Carlos Simon’s composition, An Elegy: A Cry from the Grave, is dedicated to Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and others murdered unjustly by an imperious power. Simon’s reaction to the killings became a powerful musical mix of frustration, anger, and fear. He says, “The recurring ominous motif represents the cry of those struck down unjustly in this country. . . . While the predominant essence of the piece is sorrowful and contemplative, there are moments of extreme hope represented by bright consonant harmonies.”
The Jupiter String Quartet are Artists-in-Residence and Associate Clinical Professors at the University of Illinois. They perform frequently across campus as well as at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. In addition, they coach chamber music and all have large private studios of University of Illinois students. The quartet is a particularly intimate group, consisting of violinists Nelson Lee and Megan Freivogel McDonough, violist Liz Freivogel (older sister of Meg), and cellist Daniel McDonough (husband of Meg, brother-in-law of Liz). Now enjoying their 20th year together, this tight-knit ensemble is firmly established as an important voice in the world of chamber music.
Thompson: Seven Last Words of the Unarmed
Simon: An Elegy: A Cry from the Grave
Saturday, April 9th 2022 - 7:30pm CT
Foellinger Great Hall
See the Krannert Center website for more details and to purchase tickets.